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Is your family prepared to weather the first three days of a disaster?

Posted April 13, 2018

American Red Cross backpack and emergency supplies
The American Red Cross recommends each household have a backpack with emergency supplies for emergencies.

It’s spring in North Central Texas, and that means residents should be ready for strong thunderstorms, tornados, flash floods, wind damage and hail.

If Mother Nature turns extremely violent and causes massive damage, you might be isolated while first responders work their way to your area. Are you prepared to spend three or more days on your own with no water, power, transportation, medical help, or communication with the outside world?

Being prepared for any type of local hazard is beneficial and might determine how well you and your family fare if a natural or manmade disaster were to strike in Fort Worth. You can improve your odds by building a 72-hour emergency kit and creating communication and evacuation plans now.

Build your family’s kit

A 72-hour emergency kit should include:

  • Food.
  • Water.
  • First aid kit.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • NOAA All Hazards Weather radio.
  • Cell phone charger, cable and/or fully charged power bank.
  • Dust masks.
  • Personal hygiene and cleaning supplies.
  • Medications (minimum of seven days).
  • Whistle.
  • Tools (plyers, screwdriver, wrench).
  • Important documents (deed, marriage license, birth certificates, Social Security number, driver license, etc.).
  • Cash (small denominations).
  • Can opener.

If you have a family member with a special need, a baby or pet in your family, pack items to meet the needs of that individual or animal, such as medical equipment, bottles and formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, pet food, treats and toys.

Create a communications plan

Know how you will contact family members if you are separated when a disaster strikes:

  • Program family cell phone numbers into your phone. Write them on paper for the emergency kit.
  • Twitter or other social media platforms may prove beneficial if communications are functional.
  • Have an out-of-the-area family member act as a point of contact for family members. It may be easier to contact someone out of town if local communications are compromised.
  • All family members should know where to physically meet in an emergency situation — at a local store, family friend’s home, government building, so on.

Make an evacuation plan for your family

  • Choose several destinations where you can go if you are instructed to evacuate your residence. You may need to simply move across town or perhaps to a location several hundred miles away.
  • Try to have a least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
  • Build an emergency kit for your vehicle that includes water, first aid, snacks, important contact numbers, cell phone charger and seasonal items such as sunscreen and insect spray for summer, gloves and blankets for winter.

Get more information on emergency preparedness.

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PeopleSpring Networking Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. April 20, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, IDEA Works FW, 600 E. Rosedale St.
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Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee: 11:30 a.m. April 20, 2018; James E. Guinn Building, 1st Floor, PharmaFab Conference Room 116, 1150 South Freeway.
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Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: 9 a.m. April 21, 2018; Casino Beach Park , 7451 Watercress Drive.

Walking or Caffeinated Town Hall: 10 a.m. April 21, 2018; To be determined.

Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: noon April 21, 2018; Diamond Hill Community Center , 1701 NE 36th St.

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. April 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Public Hearing: 9:30 a.m. April 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Ave.
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Trinity Metro Board of Directors: 3:30 p.m. April 23, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, 2nd Floor, Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Kimbo Road Project Meeting: 6 p.m. April 23, 2018; Bonnie Brae Elementary, 3504 Kimbo Road.

2018 Bond Meeting: 6:30 p.m. April 23, 2018; UCC Polytechnic Center, 3100 Avenue I.

Summerfield Maintence Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. April 23, 2018; Summerglen Library, 4205 Basswood Blvd.

Race and Culture Leadership Training: 9 a.m. April 24, 2018; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Multipurpose Room, 501 West Felix Street.
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Disciplinary Appeal of the Termination of Jesse Puga: 9 a.m. April 24, 2018; City Hall Annex, 6th Floor, Training Room 623, 908 Monroe Street.
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Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. April 24, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.

Trinity Metro Notice of Public Hearing: 6 p.m. April 24, 2018; Dunbar High School Auditorium, 5700 Ramey Avenue.
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Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. April 24, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.

City Plan Commission Work Session: noon April 25, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Capital Improvements Advisory Committee for Transportation Impact Fees: 1:30 p.m. April 25, 2018; City Hall, 2nd floor, City Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. April 25, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Trinity Metro Notice of Public Hearing: 6 p.m. April 25, 2018; Tarrant County College South Campus, SSTU, Room 2201, 5301 Campus Drive.
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Rolling Town Hall: 6 p.m. April 25, 2018; Berney Park, 6316 Rosemont Avenue.

Community Development Council Special Called Meeting: 6:15 p.m. April 25, 2018; City Hall, 2nd floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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View the full city calendar.